Massive wood construction in Laajasalo

Type: Building and courtyard planning, designed in collaboration with Futudesign Ltd
Client: Woodberg Ltd
Status: completed
Timeline: 2016–2018
Location: Laajasalo, Helsinki, Finland
Scope of projects: 522 m² (6 apartments)
Team: Antti Lehto, Aleksi Niemeläinen (Futudesign), Anna-Kaisa Aalto, Lassi Luotonen, Emilia Ellilä
Photography: Martin Sommerschield (Kuvio Ltd)

The frame of the building is mass timber with no insulation.


Greija was constructed on the site of a demolished grocery store, in the Yliskylä district of Laajasalo.

In unison with the environment

The building’s lower storey is clad in white boarding to form a clearly-defined connection with other existing light-coloured housing blocks in the vicinity. The upper dark-coloured volume forms a contrast to the pale wood of the building’s interiors and balconies.

Feeling of space

The aim of the design was to create a feeling of spaciousness by positioning fixed furnishings, windows, and doors in such a way as to allow views outside.

The walls separating adjoining courtyards are designed as a visual extension of interior spaces. The white volume of the lower storey gathers the courtyards together, integrating external space as an essential part of the architecture.

Efficient use of materials

External walls are made of 200 mm cross-laminated timber elements. There is no added thermal insulation or membranes, making the structure healthy and durable.

All CLT elements were prefabricated to their final size, and leftover material from openings were used in making sturdy staircases.

Mass timber is a modern and durable solution for housing design.